The key is in neither the process nor technology, but the people

Three weeks ago, I went on a family vacation across 3 cities in the United States, a leading country in customer service. Through the trip, I realized many of the differences in customer service between us, as well as the key to their success: people.

When I travel, I pay close attention to the differences in my environment. I went to bars, restaurants, and many cultural events to explore as much of the culture as possible. Several things caught my attention, one of them being the size of teams different companies employed in the public sector. I noticed the same of companies in different sectors; however, it’s the public sector that caught my eye the most. The size of these teams also provides companies with the ability to provide extended hours and provide an even better quality of service.

In those restaurants we saw new employees shadowing experienced ones, learning and adapting to the work culture. It was even more interesting to see how from restaurant to restaurant, the same kind of customer experience was present. Within the same restaurant chains, it became even more apparent with even word-for-word phrases to welcome and serve customers.

Customer Experience Vs. Technology

I couldn’t fathom the technological support most companies provided their employees. From having the menu on a tablet attached to the table, to free Wi-Fi, games for kids, and even an online payment service easily accessible for customers to pay at their leisure, it was impressive to see the level of service the technology provided to customers.

Even with all of the additional technology though, the pivotal point in each experience was the person behind that technology. If the server gave you a warm welcome, a radiant smile and showed passion for their work, you knew that no matter what, they would give you an exemplary service focused on meeting your needs.

The importance of people and Talent Management

Processes are learned and executed, technology is implemented and utilized, but the call to service and passion for work has to come from within. When a person does their work with conviction and passion, a smile comes naturally and is easily reflected within the customers themselves. That passion and conviction causes a simple meal to turn into a unique and wonderful experience.

I don’t want to take away from the importance of processes and technology, but I also can’t help but highlight the value of the individual when it comes to being the difference in the customer experience.